When to Stop for Red Lights

In October 1999 a legislative bill was enacted that changed the way school bus drivers use the flashing amber warning and flashing red signal light/STOP signal arm system on busses. Essentially, there are five scenarios, which are depicted and described below.

Please be advised some busses have both amber and red warning lights the amber lights will come on to warn you of an approaching stop, but some busses only have red lights. You should be prepared to stop whenever the bus pulls to the side of the road.

Scenario 1, Two-Lane Roadway:

In this situation, there is a single lane of traffic in either direction with solid double yellow lines dividing each lane. When a school bus stops for passengers, traffic from both directions must stop.

Scenario 2, Two-Lane Roadway with a Center Turning Lane:

In this situation there is a single lane of traffic in either direction with a turn lane or center two-way left turn lane dividing each lane. When a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

Scenario 3, Four-Lane Roadway without a Median Separation:

In this situation there are two lanes of traffic in either direction and solid double yellow lines dividing the lanes. When a school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop.

Scenario 4, Divided Highway of Four Lanes or more with a Median Separation:

In this situation there are two or more lanes of traffic in either direction with a median separating the lanes from one another. When a school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop.

Scenario 5, Roadway of Four Lanes or more with a Center Turning Lane:

In this situation there are two or more lanes of traffic in either direction with a turn lane or center two-way turn lane separating the lanes from one another. When a school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop..

In California, the fine for passing a bus illegally can be up to $542 for a first time offense. Additional offenses can be upward of $1,000.

When it comes to crosswalks and pedestrian safety, the No. 1 rule you need to remember is pedestrians have the right of way. When you approach a crosswalk where a pedestrian is waiting to cross you should come to a complete stop and let the individual cross through the crosswalk entirely. Once the pedestrian reaches the other side of the crosswalk you may proceed. You should not simply wait for the individual to pass the front of your vehicle and then proceed. Often times an individual may change his or her mind halfway through the crosswalk and wish to return to the original starting point. In this example, had you proceeded once the pedestrian passed your vehicle, you risk the chance of injuring them, yourself, and others.

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